Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Symon Owen (active 1595–1624)
British, London
Gilt silver
Diam. 19 5/8 in. (49.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1968
Accession Number:
Not on view
It is believed that this ewer and basin, which bear the mark of the prominent London goldsmith Symon Owen, were made for Henry Frederick, prince of Wales (1594–1612) and eldest son of James I of England. While ewers and their accompanying basins were originally intended for the washing of hands at the dining table, they were also employed as part of lavish displays of silver on sideboards or buffets in princely or aristocratic houses.
Marking: [1] Leopard's head crowned (London assay office mark);
[2] Lion passant (English quality mark for sterling);
[3] n in shaped shield (London date letter for 1610–11);
[4] S.O., pellet above and 3 pellets below in shaped shield (maker's mark).

Location of marks:
[1]-[4] on rim of basin
Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales ; Sneyd family (1750–1924; sale, Christie's, June 24, 1924, no. 87) ; William Randolph Hearst ; Irwin Untermyer (until 1968; to MMA)
Related Objects


Artist: Symon Owen (active 1595–1624) Date: 1610–11 Medium: Gilt silver Accession: 68.141.135 On view in:Not on view

Automaton in the form of a chariot pushed by a Chinese attendant and set with a clock

Artist: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800) Date: 1766 Medium: Case: gold with diamonds and paste jewels set in silver, pearls; Dial: while enamel; Movement: partly gilded brass and steel, wheel balance and cock of silver set with paste jewels Accession: 1982.60.137 On view in:Gallery 540


Artist: Samuel Margas Jr. (British, active 1714–33) Date: ca. 1721 Medium: Silver gilt Accession: 68.141.133 On view in:Not on view

Pair of vases with covers

Artist: I H (British, mid–late 17th century) Date: 1675–76 Medium: Silver gilt Accession: 68.141.152a, b, .153a, b On view in:Not on view

Cup with cover and stand (one of a pair)

Artist: John Parker (British, active 1759–77) Date: 1766/67 Medium: Silver-gilt Accession: 2011.124.1a–c On view in:Not on view